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Prospect Spotlight: Adam Erne battles through injury in his first pro season

by Phil Novotny / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning drafted Adam Erne in the second round, 33rd overall, at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. The New Haven, Connecticut, native is making an immediate impact with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Before making his debut at the professional level, Erne played four seasons with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). During the 2013-2014 season, Erne got a taste of the pros as he had a goal and three assists in eight games with the Crunch. Syracuse head coach Rob Zettler points out that Erne possesses a rare element in his play: “Big guys who can skate are hard to find.”

Last season, Erne soared in his final junior year with the Remparts, compiling a team-leading 41 goals in 60 games played while also recording 45 assists and a +21 rating. His success continued into the postseason as he scored 21 goals in 22 playoff games. His performance spearheaded the Remparts run to the QMJHL Finals against the Rimouski Oceanic. In total, Erne had 275 total points in his four-year career with the Remparts.

This season is Erne’s first full season at the pro level with Syracuse, but it has been plagued by injury. Erne suffered a hand injury on Oct. 23 after blocking a shot against the Hartford Wolfpack that sidelined him for 14 games. Last Friday, Erne returned to the lineup, scoring a goal and adding two assists in a 5-1 victory against the Binghamton Senators. He also recorded an assist against the Utica Comets the next night. Zettler also noted that Erne has become a lot more confident with the puck.

“He’s going to be an important player for this organization,” Zettler said. “The more he plays, the better he’s going to be for us.”

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